Technicals – Heavy Ammunition

As mentioned in my previous post on the Spectre technicals, I hadn’t picked up all the weapons. As part of my cartel order, I put on two more weapons ready to give the bad guys something else to handle my Challenger 2 or other armoured vehicles.

The common thing between these two is the base. Simply, the base is plasticard with slots cut out for the wheel arches. Main tweak is cutting the gap slightly longer so the base can be put in either way, allowing for some adjustment.

TOW

The TOW is a wire guided missile, used worldwide as tank killer as well as hammering bunkers when the gunners run out of targets. As dangerous as it is, the wire guided nature put the crew at risk until it impacts unless they cut the guidance wire early.

The Spectre kit is in three pieces – the launcher and sight, the base and two tripod legs and the third leg. Construction is simple – attach tripod leg, add launcher. The only tweak I ended up doing was I trimmed down two of the feet on the tripod so I could fit it easily onto the base.

As for crew, I added Crew Charlie and Cew Delta. Charlie is designed for the launcher whole delta is more intended for the SPG9. However, I think he works well as the loader. Now just to assemble a reload…

M40

The M40 is a heavy recoilless rifle, launching a 105mm projectile to smash armour and the predecessor to the TOW. It lacks the guidance and doesn’t have the penetration of a TOW but it still packs a punch.

The Spectre model comes in four pieces – the main tube, the elevation wheel, the tripod and the wheel. Again, super simple assembly.

To crew it, I picked up the set designed for the weapon (Crew Foxtrot) and set them in place. I’m a big fan of the guy holding the next round.

Conclusion

As with the previous weapons, Spectre has done a great job making these systems. Both are packed full of detail and the crew are great additions to them.  It was also super easy to mount them on quick swap bases with only minor alterations. I still have a few more systems to look at but at least now the Militia have some heavy support on the field.

Technical Notes: A Primer

Intro

With the recent release of Spectre’s comprehensive range of Technicals and weapon systems, it’s never been a better time to be a militia warlord on the tabletop. This primer is designed to fill you in on these increasingly common vehicles and their role on the tabletop. I’ll cover some tactics for using them, some weapon suggestions, how best to kill them and then finally where you can get your grubby paws on your own.

But first what is a technical? Put simply, it’s an improvised weapon platform built off the back of a pickup truck or similar vehicle. The name comes from Somalia in the 1990’s, where “technical assistance grants” was a euphemism for hiring local gunmen in their up-armed pickup trucks due to laws regarding private security. However, technicals have been in use for a long time before that. As long as their have been cars, there has been someone looking at it and thinking “I bet I could put a gun on that”. The first major use is in North Africa, with the Long Range Desert Group and the SAS outfitting striped down unarmoured trucks with more firepower than they really should have. Interestingly, North Africa also saw the “Technical War”. In this conflict in the 1980’s, forces from Chad using weapons equipped Toyotas were able to hold off Libya’s armoured forces, thanks in no small part to their high-speed and MILAN launchers from France.

 

As well as militias, technicals have also been used by security contractors and SOF teams. These vehicles are often better equipped with armoured plating, run flat tires and other tools of the trade. The common theme with the cheapie versions is that these modifications are not factory standard.

Most people still link them to the conflict in Somalia but they are a common sight on the modern battlefield when one party can’t afford proper AFVs.

Basic Tactics

Image from IMFDB

Technicals have two things going for them. They are motorised and they carry a heavy weapon. Using technicals effectively requires you to use both of these facts and to not forget them. Utilising shoot and scoot tactics will let you hit the enemy with a lot of firepower just when the enemy least expects it.

Additionally, technicals in most systems allow for some limited transporting capacity. Use this to slam a small group down the flanks if you need to grab a better position or contest an objective.

One idea that someone suggested to me was technicals should be used like light cavalry – a fast-moving screen designed to use the flanks, hit hard and then fall back. Technicals normally move faster than their more heavily armoured equivalents which can be handy to get out of a sticky situation.

Finally, technicals are cheap, especially in comparison to proper AFVs. This means you can normally outnumber your enemy in both troops and vehicles and buy vehicles than can (in the right circumstances) punch far above their weight. Get in a good position and (in Spectre) your 50pt truck crewed by guys in football tops can knock out a 150pt MBT

There is however a major downside to technicals – they are unarmoured meaning everything is a threat. Rifle fire, squad machine guns and GPMGs can cause damage to you. Heavier weapons (such as grenade launcher or anti-tank launchers) will probably knock you out in a single hit. To counter this, lie in ambush and then once spotted keep moving until you can escape the enemy fire.

You may be carrying a heavy weapon but do remember – tanks and IFVs will easily knock you out. So unless you are totting weapons on the heavier end of the scale, run a mile when the armour appears.

Weapons

One of the great points about the technical is that, when it comes to weapons, anything goes! If you want inspiration, YouTube is a fantastic source of evidence of bizarre weapon setups on the most improbable frames.

HMG (M2 /DSHK)

Probably the default weapon when people think of technicals, a heavy machine gun is cheap but can be very dangerous. It will mince infantry, ignore body armour and cause a threat to light vehicles such as snatch landrovers. If you want a good all-rounder, a HMG is a safe bet.

Light Recoilless Guns (SPG-9 / M20)

On the lower end of explosive weapons, the light recoilless rifle is still cheap. It will knock out light vehicles with ease and the splash damage will worry groups of enemy. I wouldn’t want to go up against tanks with this but it’s a nice way of hammering suppression downrange.

If you want to channel some of the weird that comes with technicals, you could strip the turret off a BMP-1, bolt it to a frame and stick it on the back of your vehicle. The reason I’ve classed it as a light recoilless gun is that it fires the same round as the SPG-9 (with less propellant). Same effects but talk to your opponent about maybe giving your technical a little extra protection.

Heavy Recoilless Rifle (M40 / Wombat / B-11)

So this is where the humble Recoilless Rifle starts to be more of a threat. These rounds will obliterate light vehicles, easily penetrate armour on APCs like the M113 and might have a chance of causing damage to modern armour. These weapons will also be more lethal against infantry. The downside? Well they cost more and that’s about it. If you can’t get a TOW but you think your opponent has armour in their figure case or they are eyeing up the hard cover on the board, get this.

Guided Missile/ATGMs (TOW / Milian / Kornet)

Do you need to kill tanks? You need an ATGM. The combination of high-speed launch platform and a devastating anti-tank weapon wrecked tank designer’s plans in the Cold War and now you have a chance to do it on the tabletop. It’s not designed for infantry but will nail buildings and entrenched positions.

ZPU Series

The ZPU-1 is an AA 14.5mm heavy machine gun which is bad enough in its single form. The main thing it’s known for however is the fact it turns up in double (ZPU-2) and quad (ZPU-4) versions as well.

In game, I’d use this as a heavy machine gun, adding any rules for double or quad mounts on top of the HMG profile. Either way, it will rip infantry to pieces if it catches them in the open or at the very least pile on the suppression. If the game you’re playing also support helicopters, these things will be your go-to anti-aircraft gun.

ZSU-23

The ZSU is a 23mm autocannon. It does come in a quad version, the main weaponry of a Shilka AA vehicle, but seeing as YouTube has clips of technicals carrying the double version flipping over, it makes sense that Spectre has only released the more common version.

In game, it’s basically a ZPU on steroids.  It will wreck infantry, shred light vehicles and cause armoured vehicles some concern. If your opponent has deployed an AH-64 or a Hind over the board, this will make them think twice.

Rocket Pods (MLRS)

So talking about improvisation, this is a simple way of making a Multiple Launch Rocket System without spending money. Take rocket pod from an aircraft, bolt it to a frame on the cargo bed, point it downrange and hope that the force of it launching doesn’t flip the vehicle or rip itself off its mount

This setup will be many things but accurate is not one of them. It’s basically a long-range explosive shotgun. It will cause a bad day if it lands on you. As the user, also be aware it is unlikely you’ll be able to reload this ingame.

That’s all the weapons released for technicals are the moment but there are some other options if you are willing to custom fit them.

MMG (PKM/M240)

Mounting nothing more than an MMG is a pretty common sight on transport vehicles or vehicles not designed for frontline combat (such as Afghan police vehicles or PMC escort cars). An MMG is still an effective threat even if it lacks the power of it’s bigger brothers. The other point is that being smaller means it occupies less space, leaving more room for your fighters to pile on.

Mortars

With mortars already being a core part of a militia force, why not mount one on a vehicle? The recoil of the round is going straight into the shocks but it makes sense as a shoot and scoot vehicle. A mount I have seen is a ghetto mortar made of tubing weld together in banks. Once all the tubes are loaded, a single button press sends 6 or so mortar rounds off down range. Not sure how you would do this in-game but give me a week.

Auto Grenade Launcher (MK19/AGS)

I haven’t seen many pictures of this but everywhere the HMG goes, it’s 40mm slinging cousin isn’t far behind. This is a nice halfway between the HMG and the rocket pod – lots of explosions down range but you won’t be killing tanks with it.

Counter Tactics

Photo from IMFDB
Other tactic – steal them

This is all good if you are using the technicals, but how do you deal with them?

Fundamentally, engaging with all weapon system will cause at least some damage. Grenade launchers and anti-tank weapons will be the most efficient but don’t be afraid to put some MMG bursts at them – at the very least it will suppress them.

The main way to defeat them is to work out how your opponent intends to use them. If they are close to the flanks, expect a rush from them. If they set up in cover, expect an ambush. Once you know how they will be used you can easily avoid or neutralise them. Similarly, look at what they armed with – if they only have anti-personal weapons, use your own vehicles or air support to knock them out.

Otherwise, engage them as you would fight a heavy weapon team. Smoke to blind them, fire to pin them down and then finish them.

Buying Technicals

So now you know how to use them, where best to buy from? I’m assuming you are wanting them in 28mm as that is what most readers of this blog play moderns in.

Photo from Spectre Miniatures website

Well the article was inspired by the releases from Spectre. They have two base chassis to choose from, the classic Toyota and a more modern frame. Then you can pick your weapons from a huge list and any crew (only MENA/Insurgent at the moment) you need for them. Spectre also say you can swap out the system easily. I’ll be doing some writing about them once I have a big box of them in my hands. I’m also expecting to see another wave of releases at some point in the future based on the contents of the kickstarter.

Photo from Empress Miniatures website

For a long time, Empress was the only game in town for 28mm technicals. Their chassis is a Toyota pickup. As for weapons, you can pick from an M2 .50cal, an SPG-9, a heavy recoilless rifle and the ZSU-23. A big advantage to Empress is that they have crew figures to match their superb ranges, including Taliban figures.

Photo from Evil Bear Wargames

EDIT: Another alternative is Evil Bear Wargames, who make a rather nice SUV styles pickup just asking to to turned into a technical. It doesn’t come with any weapons but Empress weapon systems fit in the back. The SUVs are available in either individually or as three pack in a deal.

Photo from Radio DishDash’s website

Your final option is Radio Dishdash. One thing I like about their range is that rather than being Toyata based, the technicals are Land Rover based instead. Both types have crew figures to match their Day of the Ranger range. You can also get a triple pack with two heavy machine gun trucks and one recoilless rifle carrier.

The Ending

I hope this article has grabbed some interest in using some technicals in your own games. They are a worthwhile investment for a militia player, giving you some back bone and a few toys to play with. Good luck on the table!

If it’s good enough for the cookie monster, it’s good enough for you

Battle Report: Spectre Operations 01/12/2016

More photos and coverage of the game can be found at Pioneer Painting and SESWC

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This week’s wargaming took me back to Spectre, demoing the game for the first time to two members of the SESWC. I also wanted to put on a bit of a show and get lots of insurgents on the board. I had originally planned for the game to be 4 sections of Professionals vs an equal points value of militia and trained but I very quickly found myself running out of figures (and time to paint more). Luckily, I had overestimated the number of players that would be taking part and so my points values worked out great against only two sections. Moral of the story: stop panicking.


This mission saw the NZDF commitment to Bazistan moving into an area to destroy weapon caches and confront the opposing force.

NZDF
Two sections with body armour, radios, PMK, pistols, frag and smoke

  • 2x Professional Squad Leader with Assault Rifle (scope and red dot)
  • 4x Professional with Compact LMG (scope and red dot)
  • 4x Professional with Assault Rifle and UGL (scope and red dot)
  • 6x Professional with Assault Rifle (scope and red dot)

Militants
Militia Commander w/ Assault Rifle + Long Range Comms + Binocs + Radio + Remote Detonator
3x Mortar Strike

3x Militia Squad Leader w/ Assault Rifle + Radio
4x Militiamen w/ RPG
6x Militiamen w/ MMG
20x Militiamen w/ Assault Rifle
Militiaman w/ HMG

Trained SL w/ AR + radio + remote detonator
Trained SL w/carbine + radio + remote detonator
9x Trained w/AR
5x Trained w/ carbine
Trained w/ AR and UGL
2x Trained w/ MMG
Trained w/ DMR + scope
Trained w/ RPG
Trained w/ Combat Shotgun
2x Trained w/sniper rifle w/ scope
4x IED (victim operated)
2x Vehicle IED


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The game started with the Kiwis advancing onto the board behind the diplomatic compound giving them plenty of time to creep forward around the unalert militants. The two sections broke down further into fire teams. Two teams went south towards the main street (with one team vaulting the wall into the compound itself) while the other two crept along the north wall. However, as one of the southern groups crossed the street, both an insurgent sniper and HMG weapon spotted the team and became alerted. In the following turn, the HMG hammered down the street. It caused nothing more than a few points of suppression but it did alert every figure on the board. In response, the other fireteam opened up with its Compact LMG and brought the gunner down.

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Drawn towards the fire, other militant forces started to stream through the village. The militia led the way, intending to mob the better trained and equipped New Zealanders, while the trained groups waited back. One mob streamed around the buildings towards the southern most fireteam and managed to put some fire down. In response, the Kiwis opened up with an LMG and Grenade launcher knocking most of the mob down and getting them some breathing room. In the next turn, section 2 relocates with one fire team falling back to the security barriers while the other climbs onto the first floor to provide some top cover. From this cover, the section managed to put a lot of fire into the mob coming down the main street and wipe them out. They also managed to put a lot of fire into a group that came streaming out of the southern most courtyard and knock out all but three of the militia.

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On the northern edge of the board, section 1 had managed to skirt round the compound and get close to the courtyard where another arms cache was being held. However, before they could do anything, trained fighters started streaming over the wall (except for one soldier). A round of shooting managed to kill 2 but more appeared, forcing the NZ player to frantically get out of the road and into a piece of cover.

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Now at this point, I was ably assisted by a friend of mine at the club walking over to the game and offhandedly commented “Hey, can’t that sniper see someone?”. A quick check, a lucky dice roll and one member of section 2 was lying down bleeding out. The fire team drags their injured comrade back behind the concrete walls of the diplomatic compound. Up top, the overwatching team causes casualties to more of the militia but they just keep coming. The three fighters left alive suddenly prove their worth, hammering MMG fire and an RPG into the overwatch team and causing more casualties and downing two more professional soldiers.

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Back in the north of the board, one of the two NZ fire teams crept around the top of the board and got into a close quarters fight with one of the trained squads. The fight downed another Kiwi but also cost quite a few of my unarmoured troops including the squad leader. As the last move of the game, one of my opponents noticed I’d left my commander by himself and within line of sight of the Minimi gunner in the surrounded building. Three round burst later and my highest command value suddenly dropped.

As we ran out of time, its was obvious the militia had taken a beating but only one arms cache had been destroyed. This is the first time as a militia player I’ve managed to make a huge dent so I’ll be doing much more mobbing in future games

My main takeaway? THE FOX (and his spotter) STRIKES AGAIN!

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Lead Mountain II – MENA Civilians

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First stage done – I have finished my MENA civilians from Spectre. The figures are perfect for civilians to dot the tabletop but their posing makes them easy to use as objectives or intelligence operatives (the guy in the baseball cap will probably be an undercover agent rushing for extraction).

Painting wise, I tried to stick to a similar colour scheme as my Afghan civilians but with a few additional tweaks to make them look slightly more modern. Simple blocks of colours with the usual Agrax Earthshade wash. The main difference was the use of Nuln Oil on some figures, especially on the jeans but also the burgundy jacket on the chap in the back row. This helped to add some depth to the colours without requiring masses of layering.

Plan for next post– Paint boiler suit wearing robbers, start on the Taliban weapon teams

Spectre Operations Starting Lists

As a fan of Spectre Operations, I’ve been spending a lot of time on the Spectre Operations Wargaming Group. Due to this, I’ve seen a fair number of people looking to get into the game for the first time and seeking advice as to what they should be getting in terms of figures. True, you could just get what you like

To help out, I’ve decided to throw some example lists together along with which figures you should get. There will be a mix of forces, from Special Forces in assault mode down to a horde of militiamen seeking to cause trouble. These lists are not perfect but think of them more as guidelines or places to start off from. Also ignore a few places where I disregard the gear limitations. Hopefully you will will find it helpful!

To reiterate – these points values should be used as guidelines. War isn’t fair and some my my best games have been played between two very differently sized forces.

Photos from Spectre Minatures Facebook page.

Elite – Close Assault Team

https://www.facebook.com/spectreminiatures

Sometimes you need to rock and roll. The Assault Team is kitted up to the nines with body armour and a wide selection of specialist gear, ready for doing some door kicking and owning the close quarter battle.

List

All models have body armour, radios, night vision, frag, stun and thermobaric grenades

1x Elite Team Leader w/ Carbine (red dot, laser and suppressor) (86 pts)

1x Elite Operator w/ Carbine (red dot and suppressor) and Automatic Shotgun (101 pts)

1x Elite Operator w/ Carbine (red dot and suppressor) and Combat Shotgun. Carrying breaching tool and breaching charge (107 pts)

1x Elite Operator w/ Carbine (red dot, laser and suppressor) (86 pts)

1x Elite Operator w/ SMG (red dot, laser and suppressor) (83 pts)

1x Elite Operator w/ SMG (red dot, laser and suppressor) (83pts)

Total: 546

Models

Well, why would you be looking anywhere else but the Task Force Operator range.

Tactics

The squad has one specific role – fighting in close quarters (range interval 1). So you’ll need to get in close, using the carbines and SMGs if starting off undetected. Then once you are ready to go, use the shotguns and tools to breach, pop grenades in (stun is especially useful) and then rush (use the compact/red dot/laser combo to full effect). The main downside is the lack of grenade launchers and MGs but the AA12 will do sterling work as a close range suppression machine.


Elite – Russian Assault Team

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Like above but less ‘Murica, more unconventional breaching methods and vodka (if we go off stereotypes)

List

All with body armour, pistol, radio, stun and smoke grenades and personal medical kit

1x Elite Squad Leader w/ Carbine (w/ red dot and laser) (63 pts)

1x Elite w/ LMG (w/ red dot) (62 pts)

2x Elite w/ assault rifle (w/ red dot and laser) (60 pts each)

2x Elite w/ assault rifle (w/ red dot and laser) and breaching tools (65 pts each)

1x Elite w/ Carbine (w/ red dot and laser), battlefield trauma kit and stimulants (73 pts)

1x Elite w/ assault rifle (w/ red dot and laser) and MGL (75 pts)

Total: 523

Models

All of these guys can be found in the GRU Spetsnaz range

Tactics

This isn’t a list for the subtle. LMG and MGLs form a good firebase while the rest of the team move up using smoke and stun grenades. Red dots and lasers help to improve fighting in RI 1. There is less gear


Elite – Recon Team

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In contrast to the Assault Teams, the recon team is more for the player wanting to sneak around and do their best predator impression.

List

All have radio, pistol, frag and smoke grenades and personal medical kit

1x Elite Squad Leader w/ Carbine (laser, suppressor and subsonic ammo) (60 pts)

3x Elite w/ Carbine (laser, suppressor and subsonic ammo) (60 pts each)

1x Elite w/ Compact LMG (54 pts)

1x Elite w/ Carbine (laser, suppressor and subsonic ammo) and Automatic Shotgun (red dot) (78 pts)

1x Elite w/ Heavy Sniper Rifle (scope) and ghille suit (69 pts)

1x Elite w/ DMR (scope, red dot) and ghille suit (60 pts)

Total: 501

Models

Tactics

Form up the walking bushes into a two man sniper team, creep them into overwatch positions taking advantage of the ghille suit. Use the DMR figure to act as a crewman to the main sniper, giving him a reroll (unless the enemy get real close)

The other four operators will be your hammer, moving carefully onto the objective. Silenced weapons help to being with but once you go loud, the auto shotgun and the compact LMG will give you a load of suppression when pinning down the OPFOR.

Just be aware you’re lacking body armour so when you get hit, it will hurt.


Professional – British Army Infantry Section

Spectre Operations may talk a lot about special operations but its well suited to playing with conventional squads in a kinetic environment. This is the British army layout of an 8 man section that can be split into two fireteams.

List

All have heavy body armour, pistol, personal medical kits, radio, frag and smoke.

1x Professional Squad Leader w/ Assault Rifle (scope and red dot) (61 pts)

1x Professional w/ Assault Rifle (scope and red dot) and Combat Shotgun (red dot) (65 pts)

1x Professional w/ Assault Rifle (scope and red dot) w/ UGL (61 pts)

1x Professional w/ Assault Rifle (scope and red dot) w/ UGL and tactical ladder (64 pts)

2x Professional w/ Compact LMG (scope and red dot) (66 pts each)

1x Professional w/ DMR (scope and red dot) (59 pts)

1x Professional w/ Assault Rifle (scope and red dot) and battlefield trauma kit (61 pts)

Total: 503

Models

Okay so this is cheating; I wouldn’t get this list from Spectre – the models are lovely but at the moment they are focused on more elite groups or militia. If you’re wanting to make a British Army force, Empress has a fantastic range of exceptional figures if you want some more conventional looking blokes available at http://www.empressminiatures.com/userimages/procart31.htm.

Tactics

Split into two fireteams, perform fire and move drills to advance safely. Use the team with the DMR as a base of fire and use the other team to breach and clear. These guys have heavy body armour so you loose 1 agility but get a bit more survivabilty.


Trained – Insurgents

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The trained forces don’t gain any special bonuses but they do get an improvement in terms of stats compared to militia forces

List:

All have body armour

Trained Commander w/ Assault rifle (Red Dot) (33 pts)

Trained w/ MMG (Red Dot) (33 pts)

Trained w/ LMG (25 pts)

Trained w/ RPG (AP and HEAT warhead) (45 pts)

Trained w/ Combat Shotgun (21 pts)

4x Trained Squad Leader w/ Carbine (28 pts)

7x Trained w/ Assault Rifle (20 pts)

5x Trained w/ Carbine (23 pts)

Total: 524

Models:

This is the entire Insurgent Range

Tactics:

The old tactics are the best; Find, Fix, Flank, Finish. MG’s and RPG provide a good base of fire while the sheer number of carbines and shotgun work well in the flanking force. You’ll need to stick to cover to avoid getting pinned down but you should be able


Militia – Militia

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On first read, the militia are pretty weak. However, large numbers of cheap troops mean that you can easily swarm a more well trained force. In addition, the different factions (African and MENA) provide some different opportunities in terms of available models.

List

1x Militia Commander w/ Carbine, body armour and Radio (33 pts)

1x Milita Squad Leader w/ Assault Rifle, body armour and Radio (25 pts)

1x Milita Squad Leader w/ shotgun, Stimulant Pack and Radio (17 pts)

2x Militia w/ RPG (HEAT)  (12 pts each)

2x Militia w/ MMG (17 pts each)

1x Militia w/DMR (10 pts)

1x Militia w/ Light Anti-tank weapon (22 pts)

24x Militia w/ Assault Rifle (7 pts each)

1x Technical w/ HMG (40 pts)

1x Trained Squad Leader w/ Assault Rifle and UGL and Body Armour (30pts)

6x Trained Soldier w/ Assault Rifle (10 pts each)

1x Trained Soldier w/ RPG (HEAT and AP) (30 pts)

1x Trained Soldier w/ LMG (15 pts)

Total: 508

Models

MENA Militia and African Militia will provide you with a huge number of figures. If you are looking for some better trained backup, the African Rebels, Insurgents and African Forces look visibly distinct from the rawer Militia soldiers.

Note: Militia armies are huge if you are trying to points match. Alternative ways to go up against the tooled up Elite forces might be to give them advantagous position or off-map support

Tactics

Suppression is going to be your friend and your enemy. You’ll take a lot of it but using your commander and the large squad 10+ figures will give you some bonuses in terms of both command and in close quarters. On your side, massed rapid fire combined with RPG/MMG combo will help to even the odds.

The trained soldiers (be they former soldiers or rebels) provide a core of fighters with better stats while the Squad leader with the stimulant pack can keep your guys in the fight… for a little while longer. The technical is vulnerable to being shot at but its HMG will help with pinning down the opposition, no matter where they hide.


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Trained – Bank Robbery Crew

Get the urban terrain out, place the getaway car on the street and check your timings. This group is perfect for robbing the bank before fighting their way out

List

All have radios

1x Trained Commander w/ Multiple Grenade Launcher, pistol (37 pts)

4x Trained w/ SMGs and smoke grenades (20pts each)

2x Trained w/ Carbines (Red Dot) and smoke grenades (23 pts each)

1x Trained w/ Shotgun, breaching tools, breaching charge and smoke grenades (22 pts)

Total: 185

Models

Tactics

Use the guys with the carbines on the street while the SMGs and shotgun are used in the more close quarters area. Shotgun criminal is geared up for breaching. Then save the commander for when things go badly wrong and you need a few extra bangs.


Trained – SWAT

Protect and Serve!

List

All with Stun Grenades, radios, body armour and pistols

1x Trained Squad Leader w/ Carbine (Red dot and laser) (41 pts)

3x Trained w/ Carbine (Red Dot and laser) (36 pts each)

1x Trained w/ SMG (Red Dot) (30 pts)

1x Trained w/Combat Shotgun (Red Dot) and Breaching Tools (36 pts)

Total: 215

Models

Tactics

Breach, Bang, Clear. Stun grenade any possible hostile rooms, utilising the compact/laser/red dot combo. The Shotgun will get you through the doors, SMG has automatic for hammering suppression down when needed while the rest can put fire down.


This is just a taster of the lists that can be made for Spectre Operations. I haven’t even started to cover covert forces or go in deeper on the vehicles. I’d love to hear any feedback you may have, so get out there and have fun!

Battle Report: Spectre Operations 03/11/2016

If you haven’t realised based off previous posts, my wargaming opponents are split between friends down in York and SESWC up in Edinburgh. Having introduced Spectre to the guys in York, it was now time to try it out with the Edinburgh crowd. Here is how things went down


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The game begins

After the SAS operation robbed them of their prize, Militants in Bazistan are looking for ways to raise funds. Their latest target is the Argo Corporation, a multi-national with various commercial interests in the region. The militants have managed to kidnap two contractors and are now holding them for ransom. Eager to recover their people, they have sent some of their Private Military Contractors to sort out a deal with the militants.

However, the two hostages are actually responsible for several acts of sabotage and spying, including one on a Russian competitor. Even worse, this competitor is a front for the Russian Intelligence services and as such a team of Spetsnaz have been deployed to secure the two hostages and “question” them about their involvement.

The deal goes down in an abandoned town. While the contractors and militants converse, the Russians advance…

Forces

Spetsnaz

All with body armour, pistols, radio, thermobaric and smoke grenades and personal medical kit

1x Elite Squad Leader w/ Carbine (w/ red dot and laser)

1x Elite w/ Heavy body armour, MMG (w/ red dot) and Combat Shotgun

1x Elite w/ LMG (w/ red dot)

4x Elite w/ assault rifle (w/ red dot and laser)

1x Elite w/ Carbine (w/ red dot and laser), battlefield trauma kit and stimulants

1x Elite w/ assault rifle (w/ red dot and laser) and MGL

Contractors

1x Professional Squad Leader w/ carbine (w/scope and Red Dot)

3x Professionals w/ carbine (w/scope and Red dot)

1x Professionals w/ carbine (w/scope and Red dot) and Battlefield Trauma Kit

2x Professionals w/ compact LMG

1x Professional w/ carbine (w/ scope and red dot) and automatic shotgun

4x Professionals w/ carbine (w/scope and red dot) and UGL

Militants and AWOL Eritrean soldiers

Eritreans

All have body armour, radios, frag grenades and personal med kits

1x Trained Commander w/ assault rifle and UGL

4x Trained Soldiers w/ Assault rifle

1x Trained Soldier w/ RPG (HEAT and AP)

1x Trained Soldier w/ LMG

1x Trainer Soldier w/ Battle Rifle and Battlefield Trauma Kit

Militants

1x Trained Squad Leader w/ carbine and radio

1x Trained w/ MMG

1x Trained w/ Combat Shotgun

6x Trained w/Assault Rifle

5x Trained w/ Carbine

The Game

Militants start inside the compound while the PMC start in the village, with the two sides having a conference by the front gate as they attempt to make the trade. Inside the compound, the hostages are stored in a shipping container where they have been held for several days. The Russians are infiltrating from the other side of the drainage ditch. As the game starts, everyone but the Russians are unaware.

For a while the game was pretty quiet – the Russians move into position against the wall of the compound, the contractors sneaked a unit into the L-shaped building and a small group of militants patrolled around – worryingly, the militant’s leader re-entered the compound leaving the contractors to deal with his subordinate. However, the Russians soon started the party with a bang; Two soldiers were propped up by their buddies so they could shoot over the wall while the grenadier hefted his pump action grenade launcher and rattled off three quick shots (Ed: yes this required some rule improvisation). The assault rifles dropped two of the militants while the grenade launcher missed, scattering and shredding the trees the Eritreans were hiding in. Realising the alarm was raised, the rest of the Russians opened up with machine guns and suppressed more of the Eritreans.

As the sounds of gunfire erupted, the other sides swiftly swung into action. Before the targets could even react, the leader of the mercenaries and his backup swiftly went into action and double tapped the guards outside. The rest of the contractors, assuming a double cross, started opening up with 40mm grenades and LMGs even attempting to hit the shadowy forms on the other side of the compound wall. The Russians continued to take out the exposed Eritreans even as they fled into the fields. On top of a tower in the compound, the Eritrean commander repeatedly failed to rally his forces and was hamstrung more when another grenade launcher round hit the tower and took out him and his RPG gunner. Looks like the AWOL soldiers were a bad investment as backup.

However, the fight wasn’t going all the attackers way. The militants springing into action managed to put some fire down on the perched Russians forcing them back over the wall. After rallying off the suppression, three of the Spetsnatz (including the medic and commander) leapt over the wall and got ready to rush the remaining militia. Upon landing, the militants managed to drop one and pin down the others with scattered automatic fire. On the far side of the compound, the PMC moved up and got ready to breach the interior in an attempt to grab the hostages before the Russians.

Time was running out and so the final two turns saw a lot of stuff happen very quickly

  1. The Militant leader and his buddy grabbed the two hostages and used them as human shields
  2. The PMC team breached, saw the two militants holding the hostages and dropped the bad guys
  3. As the militants advanced on the Russians, three more Spetsnatz operators climbed over the wall and dived onto the OPFOR taking them out in CQB
  4. The rest of the Russians inside the compound opened up on the PMC intruders dropping two of them
  5. That dastardly operator with the MGL fired his final blast and blew away the last contractor inside the walls.

As the time ran out, the militants had been wiped out. The Russians had 1 KIA but the rest of the team was in a good position and closest to the objective. Finally the contractors had lost three of their number but still had troops in position on the rooftops overlooking the compound. All the players agreed that an extra turn or two would have probably seen the Russians win, but it would really close.

Gallery

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Hostages all ready for the trade
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The Contractors run through the plan
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The PMC backup team waits for things to go wrong
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One of the Spetsnatz leaning over the wall
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The Russians Fire Support all ready to support
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The PMC Red Shirt’s view of the battlefield
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The compound at the start of the final turn
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PMC pop smoke as the Russians come running in

 


Another good game, everyone seemed to enjoy it. Looking forward to getting some games in and playing around with some more forces.

The other two players will be writing up their thoughts – SESWC at https://www.facebook.com/permalink.php?story_fbid=1150900081614630&id=158670127504302 and Bart at http://asienieboje.blogspot.co.uk/

Battle Report: Spectre Operations 23/10/2016

I’m writing this just after two weeks of manic work and then a weekend away getting back to the airsofting/shootmans for the first time in a while. Airsoft was really good, great site and I got to rock and roll with my favourite airsoft gun that hasn’t been used in a year (thanks Timehop for that reminder). I also got to spend some time with friends and have a fun drive back up through some great countryside – Autumn really is the best time for driving (except for the torrential rain that came out of nowhere as I got past Newcastle).

More importantly, I got to play some Spectre Operations with my wargaming friends down south. As usual, I took the OPFOR while the 6 SAS operators were split between three new players to the rules. So without further ado, lets take a look at the game.


Barzistan is a breakaway region in the Middle East, containing parts of Saudi Arabia and Yemen. 24 hours ago, two civilian aid workers were kidnapped by militants. In response, SAS operatives in the region have deployed on a snatch and grab mission. Based on recon information, they strike at dawn before the major groups of militants return to the target village.

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Forces

BLUFOR

All BLUFOR has body armour, a pistol, radio and three types of grenades (Frag, Smoke and Stun)

1x Elite Commander w/ Carbine (Laser, Red dot, Scope, Suppressor) and Underslung Grenade Launcher

1x Elite Operator w/ Carbine (Laser, Red dot, Scope, Suppressor), Underslung Grenade Launcher and RPG w/ Thermobaric Warhead (a M72 ASM)

2x Elite Operator w/ Carbine (Laser, Red dot, Scope, Suppressor)

1x Elite Operator w/ Compact Light Machine Gun (Laser, Red dot, Scope, Suppressor)

1x Loitering Tactical Munition

OPFOR

1x Militia Commander w/ Assault Rifle

1x Militia Squad Leader w/ Assault Rifle

20x Militia w/ Assault Rifle

1x Militia w/ Sniper

1x Militia w/ DMR

1x Militia w/ LMG

5x Militia w/ MMG

4x Militia w/ RPG

The Game

As the operation starts, the SAS team is formed up near the communications mast. Inside the village, the militants are split into several groups. The two largest were the attack groups with around 10 figures in each group. There was also a 5 person sentry group (just heading out to their prepared positions) and two pairs of sentries on various roof tops.

The SAS figures quickly split up, with two forming a fire support team while the rest moved into the village. Approaching the first house, the fire support team spotted the 5 man sentry group getting close. Rather than risk detection, they opened up with the suppressed weapons. Three guys went down but two more were left standing forcing a quick response from the assault team. Sneaking in closer, the assault team managed to carefully dispatch the other two sentry groups, the last just moments before they tried to set off the alarm. However, by now both mobs of militia were sat on the outskirts of the village and would pose an issue in getting to the target building.

Upon agreement with all three players operating the SAS, the team decided to go kinetic. First up, the Commander dropped a Loitering Tactical Munition out the sky and onto group 1 causing multiple KIA and a pile of suppression points. Group 2 was engaged by the fire support element, dropping rapid fire onto the mob and forcing them back behind the buildings. Two more of the SAS planned to  advance onto the taller building, stacking up on the doorway and planning to breach.

However, at this point we rolled for the civilians (having forgotten to do so up until this point – oops). Most groups scattered but one group took offence at the arrival of a bunch of westerners and immediately mobbed on of the breaching operators. One short close combat later and an elite SAS operator was knocked unconscious for the loss of one civilian also knocked down. His buddy managed to drag him into the building’s cover and then proceeded to stun grenade the angry civilians.

Ignoring the public relations work two of the SAS were doing, the renaming 4 operators went off to finish the militia. Group A (lead by the commander) worked its way round to start finishing off the group recovering from a drone strike. One of the suppressed militia managed to pop a shot off but the suppression was cleared pretty quickly. Group B waited for the larger mob to pop its head out. As soon as they appear, the two man team performed a Fire Control Order, dumping a burst of MG fire and an M72 ASM to pin the remaining fighters down with a pile of suppression. With all the militia combat ineffective and unable to rally off the suppression, we called the game

As the militia huddled under the blistering fire, forced away from their captives, two of the SAS operators manhandled the hostages and the team broke contact, falling back into the desert. The rebels will need to find another way to get the leverage they need…

Gallery

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Play begins as the sun rises across the board
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The SAS deploy near the old communication hut
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Guard group A finishes their work at the target building and prepare to go on sentry duty
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On the roof tops above, a sniper team watch the horizon while Ahmed attempt to get some signal
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Two SAS trooper provide cover as the rest of the team advances forward
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“Hold on, I might need to call you back. The Americans are here again”
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Team A gets ready to advance
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A loitering munition drops out the sky
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The aftermath
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Fire support take up position on the roof tops
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SAS 5 regrets sticking his head round the corner – even the stunned soldiers are still armed
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The breaching team conducts some PR work
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Fire support comes out of overwatch and drops the hammer

So how are the rules? Well I was playtesting the rules for a little bit (see previous posts in the Spectre Operations tag for the early days) but this is my first time with the final version. Overall I think they are a fantastic little set of rules. The addition of squads really make the game standout – its not just focused on the individual characters but really focused on how a squad works together. Combat is pretty nasty (up close the tooled up operators were getting masses of modifiers thanks to compact/red dot/laser and more) and remaining unaware is very bad if you intend to stay in one piece (unlike the militia in this game). My biggest issues with the game are fixed – suppression is limited on professional and elite figures so they feel a little more special while frag rules just make more sense and are much harder to break. It is a little strange when you initially work out points values – 6 elite figures tooled up are equal to 50 odd militia fighters with AKs. However, after playing you soon see they can handle it. The game has a nice flow to it, even with the various markers and additional dice that end up on the board. It also still gives you the kid in the candy shop feel with the massive list of weapons and gear. There are a few beta features I miss but based on what Spectre have been saying it looks like they have plenty of stuff planned out.

Overall, I am super happy with Spectre and I’m really looking forward to playing some more of it. I have some more situations I want to try with it and see how it works (the big one being militia hunting AFVs) but I’m already getting sorted for my next game of it!

Now I’ve played this rules, I’m going to start work on the comparison article of the various modern rulesets. It won’t be a “X is better than Y” but more a comparative look into just what is available and what each does well/less well.

Lead Mountain Update 15

Sadly not quite as fast this week thanks to getting ready for Christmas and the work Christmas party. However, I have managed to get a few more models painted.

 

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The first set was the duplicates of the Contractors Charlie and the ISA agent I received in my kickstarter order. The original set was among the first models I painted and I was keen to put a different spin on them. As well as painting them up in less military garb (no camo allowed), I also green stuffed shemaghs and a hood – not quite ready to sculpt figures but every little practise helps. Only issues with these models were a few mould lines I missed an issue with the basecoat. These were some of the last models I airbrushed so there was a little bit of excess paint I had to remove. These guys are all ready to be riding around in SUVs, keeping assets safe.

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The second set I finished is enough guys to bring the African Union forces up to a full squad. The two support weapons should give them a boost while the UGL wielding commander is perfect to be shouting orders. He comes from a different Spectre range than the rest of the AU guys, but its does make him look a little more like a hardened vet, given a new squad with all their shiny gear. They should be an interesting force to use – mixture of lower experience levels but with some rules regarding Western (or Eastern) advisors.

So I fell a little bit behind my target but the final two models arrived. Once got painted this week (the African commander) while the other joins the Deniable Ops guys waiting to be painted when I’m up north. Hopefully will get the vehicles painted soon – all ready for a wargaming day I’ll be having in York.

Painted, varnished and based – 185:

  • 38 Empress – Modern British Infantry
  • 14 Spectre – UKSF (of various types)
  • 6 Spectre – Task Force Operators (painted as SAS) + 1 Spectre Dog
  • 10 Spectre – AK armed contractors
  • 5 Spectre – Western Contractors (being used as US Special Forces)
  • 11 Spectre – Task Force Operators (being used as US Army Rangers
  • 2 Spectre – Intelligence Agents
  • 5 Spectre – African Soldiers
  • 4 Empress – Armoured Troopers
  • 4 Empress – US SEAL Team 6
  • 8 Spectre – Task Force Operators (To be split between UKSF and Rangers)
  • 17 Radio DishDash –  Taliban
  • 4 Spectre Direct Action GRU
  • 14 Spectre – Insurgents
  • 4 Empress – US Frogmen
  • 1 Eureka – Taliban Sniper
  • 2 Spectre – Hostages
  • 1 Evil Bear Wargames – Hardsuits
  • 1 Eureka – Force Recon .50cal Sniper
  • 6 Eureka – US Force Recon
  • 4 Empress – PLA Special Forces
  • Spectre – 1 VIP and 3 Bodyguards
  • 7 Spectre – Task Force Operators (To be split between UKSF and Rangers)
  • 5 Spectre – Covert Action GRU
  • 5 Spectre – Western Contractors (Converted with Shemaghs)
  • 1 Spectre – African Forces Commander
  • 2 Spectre – African Forces Special Weapons

In the process of being painted, varnished and based – 5 :

  • 1 Empress – Dog for Counter-IED Team – Based, needs painting
  • 1 Spectre – Dog – Based, needs washing
  • 1 Empress – Warrior IFV – Repainted in Desert Tan
  • 1 Spectre – UKSF (ghille suit with M4)
  • 1 Evil Bear Wargames – Panther – Base coated in Desert Tan

Basecoated with Basing Material– 84:

  • 1 Evil Bear Wargames – Hardsuits
  • 5 Hasslefree Miniatures – Modern Troopers
  • 8 Spectre – SMG Armed Contractors
  • 6 Spectre – Intelligence Agents
  • Spectre – Female Contractor (Salute 2015 model)
  • Spectre – 1 Agitator and 1 Bodyguard
  • 6 Spectre – African Locals
  • 2 Spectre – Deniable Assets
  • 8 Gripping Beast – Falklands War Brits
  • 3 Spectre – VIPs
  • 4 Spectre – Close Protection Agents
  • 19 Spectre – MENA Militia
  • 1 Spectre – Offroad SUV
  • 2 Spectre – SUVs
  • 6 Spectre -Deniable Operators
  • 2 Spectre – Task Force Operators
  • 2 Spectre – Task Force Operator Marksmen
  • 2 Spectre – Task Force Operator Breachers
  • 1 Spectre – Task Force Operator Dog Handler
  • 1 Spectre – Task Force Operator Grenadier (pirate gun)
  • 2 Tale of War – Special Figures

Basecoated – 1:

  • 1 Spectre – Contractor (being converted)

Total Models: 274

Models finished (Based, painted and varnished): 185

Percentage of collection finished: 67.51% painted

Exempt (Not Arriving in time) – 28:

  • 8 Radio DishDash DELTA Force
  • 12 Radio DishDash US Army Rangers
  • 8 Radio DishDash Somali Gunmen

BONUS IMAGE:

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A better image of the GRU Covert Action team.